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Academia under review

Letter to the editor

In his March 5 column, Brian Lowry writes, “Welcome to the new and not-exactly-improved world of academia, where professors lobby, jockey and retain publicists to help flog books and push research …. Then there are the many professors pimping to serve as pundits, such as Fordham U. media professor Paul Levinson, pitched as being ‘available before, during and after’ the Oscars to help journalists evaluate the show. That’s right, during.”

I see at least four errors:

1. A pimp is someone who makes money off of hookers. Maybe Mr. Lowry meant that I am a metaphorical hooker, but I make no money by making myself available for media interviews.

2. I have hired no publicist to promote me or my books.

3. I admit that my novel, “The Plot to Save Socrates,” was published a few weeks before the Oscars, but the novel had no connection to my availability as an expert to talk about this year’s Academy Awards.

4. I’m puzzled as to what especially bothers Mr. Lowry about my being available “during” the Oscars. I would think it would be helpful to reporters, particularly in a tight-deadline topic such as the Oscars.

All in all, I would give Mr. Lowry’s article a C-. Skimpy research, faulty logic, lame use of metaphor.

Paul Levinson
Fordham U.

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